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Lyrics

John McCutcheon – It’s The Economy, Stupid Lyrics

It’s the economy, stupid
Now those educated
Appraised students
Ride their buses
From their consolidated schools
Back to their small towns and farms
And cannot wait
To drive their cars away
On that highway of diamonds
Into the consolidated cities
Where they look back
In shame
And wonder
Stranded
Between what they know
And what they’ve been sold
It’s the economy, stupid
The economy that looks
For the maximum return
For the quick turnaround
For the short term gain
For the unearned income
For the Big Lotto
It’s the economy, stupid
And the economy
Is impatient
It has a short attention span
It is easily bored
It is hungry
It is late for its next appointment
It puts you on hold
It does not return your call
It’s the economy, stupid
The economy
Has you working two jobs
It is mandatory overtime
It is expensive sneakers
Made by sweating children
It is cheap food
Picked by landless hands
It is good paying jobs
Disappearing from American towns
And reappearing
Nowhere
It is your closed up main street
And it is your boarded up mill
And it is your condo-minimized factory
And it is your cookie cutter mall
And it is not accountable
It is not America
It’s the economy, stupid
The economy now has no borders
Or horizons
Or faces
Or hands
The economy has only one rule:
More
And the economy lies
The economy tells us it is about Freedom
The economy is about Dependence
Not on land
Or animals
Or weather
Or neighbors
But
On machinery
And fuel
And credit
Most farmers
Have borrowed their way
Right out of farming
And
No government loan
No government program
Will change
That cycle
Because the government
Is powerless now, see…
It’s the economy, stupid
And the government is the economy’s
Biggest cheerleader
It plays by the same rules:
The quick fix
The stronger army
The bigger bomb
The dependence on machinery
To do work
That can only effectively be done
By humans
It consolidates
When diversity is required
It’s about economy
It’s about small towns with
Banks
And baseball teams
A general store
Churches
Family cemeteries
A schoolhouse
A lumberyard
A radio station
A newspaper
A roadhouse
A funeral home
A filling station
Open space
Open opportunity
Open eyes
Open hearts
Choice
Recourse
Response
Responsibility
It’s about economy It’s the economy, stupid
A victory sign
A mantra
An explanation
A reminder
A warning
An omen
An onus
A threat
It’s the economy, stupid
Farmers’ wives bring eggs
Chickens
Whole milk
Fresh butter
To the local market
To the store
Come in with groceries
And leave with groceries and money
Small farmers raise crops
For local markets
Up at dawn
Home at dusk
More in fallow
Than under the plow
Dark loam
Rich with earthworms
Defying erosion
Anchoring forest borders
Home for
Game
Shelter
Shade
Now virginity is no longer fashionable
Even in our forests
We will harvest another crop
Of walnut
Cherry, oak
If we only live
Another hundred years
Man was the last piece
Of creation
And has been playing catch up
Ever since
Farming is a balance
Of muscle
Daylight
And conservation
Machinery
Becomes the muscle now
Allowing us to work
Into the night
We plant our debts
Fencerow to fencerow
Swallowing
Every bitter dram
Of expert advice
Until
…drunk with dreams
Of fortune
Equity
Leverage
Growth…
We grow
What we cannot use
Purchase
What we used to raise
Spend
What we used to save
Sell
What we used to treasure
Mock
What we used to revere
Hate
What we used to love
It’s the economy, stupid
Understand…
I am not a nostalgist
I am a most pragmatic man
I look at what naturally occurs
In the living world…
And see diversity
Not specialization
I look at
Hometown banks
Restaurants
Hardware stores
Where your name
Is your credit
And decisions are rendered
By people who know you
Where you are more than
The five banks
And the four airlines
And the three newspaper chains
And the two big box stores
And the one-and-a-half political parties
And the one retort:
It’s the economy stupid
And the standards
That demand that
Every teacher teaches
Every student
Exactly the same thing
And, like these students
I have to ask “why?”
Why?